In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Nii Akuetteh, African affairs expert, describes how the US had supported Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's oppressive regime, but now Gaddafi has bitten the hand that fed him.
Press TV: We've seen this before, such as with Panama and Manuel Noriega, and Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden. The West intervenes when there is a monetary benefit to them. Is this a relation to future benefits of the vast amounts of oil in Libya?
Do you possibly see any relation between this and the Lockerbie/Pan-Am bombing?
Akuetteh: Well, I don't know about Lockerbie. There are different stories about Lockerbie. In fact, there are some pretty respected news accounts and analysts that I respect, and some of them have raised questions about that.
But for me, the important thing that I take from this is that the US and other Western countries have a very long history of cooperating with undemocratic tyrants.
For a long time, I cut my teeth as an activist on apartheid in South Africa. We know for a fact that many prior US governments were cooperating with supporting the apartheid government until there was a movement, of course, in South Africa. Then the US cut the ties.
So, to come back to the cooperation of Washington and London with Mister Gaddafi, and even sending in people to torture, my point is that it doesn't come off as a surprise to me because this is just a continuation of Washington and London's habit of propping up dictatorships even though they say that they are for democracy.
They say this a lot during the Cold War, and they said it was simply because of the Cold War. The Cold War ended in 1989, and they are still doing it.
Press TV: The CIA has trained and supported many foreign diplomats to then turn and foil against them. Why do you think that is the case?
I think it's the case of extreme cynicism. They will work with any government if they think it's in their interests. But the minute they think they can get a better deal, so to speak, with another government...I think Gaddafi's mistake was - he was the person the US was getting oil from - when he started to shoot at the demonstrators in February, [the US] decided it would make them look bad so they decided to back the Libyan dissidents.
It's not a surprise that they would be in bed with a dictator and then turn around quickly and fight asgainst him. They did the same with Saddam Hussein.